Legendary extreme metal drummer Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT, DETHKLOK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DEATH, DARK ANGEL) was interviewed on a recent episode of “Talking Bollocks”, the All About The Rock monthly metal podcast hosted by former ACID REIGN frontman-turned-stand-up-comedian Howard H. Smith. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Speaking about DARK ANGEL‘s decision to officially reunite in 2013, Hoglan said: “It’s something my manager has been posing to me for the past three or four years. [He was], like, ‘Why don’t you do DARK ANGEL? It’s something that you would control. It’s your band, it’s your stuff. You could put a lot of time and energy into it. You wouldn’t just be a hired gun for all these bands. You would have something of yours that…’ You know, being a hired gun for these bands, it pays decently, but… He was looking at it from a financial standpoint. ‘DARK ANGEL would pay the most. You would stand to make the most out of DARK ANGELthan you would playing for all these bands that you do, which is cool. But the real money is when you own the property yourself.’ And I’m, like, ‘I understand that.’ It was really just a scheduling thing.”
He continued: “In 2013, it was looking like 2014 was gonna have a lot of real open areas in it.TESTAMENT was gonna be doing whatever they were, which wasn’t all that much. So it just kind of became, ‘Why don’t we try it?’ Then [original DARK ANGEL singer] Don Doty came out. He did some separate thing where he just announced, ‘I’m putting the band back together.’ And we got in touch, and we were, like, ‘Hey, let’s try to make it work with two vocalists,’ or whatever. And… it didn’t work with Don. So we just said, ‘Okay, well, so long. Good luck. And let’s get the five guys together from ‘Leave Scars’.’ ‘Cause that was the most fun lineup anyway; that was real fun. Jim‘s [Durkin, guitar] great. And everybody’s… We’re having a good time and we’re writing real aggressive music.”
Hoglan also spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for DARK ANGEL‘s forthcoming album. He said: “[We’ve been] writing for the last… God, Jesus… eight months or something like that, on our own. Jim and I have only gotten together a couple of times, but I’ve got plenty of riffs, he’s got plenty of riffs. I’ve just been stuck, busy doing tons of this stuff [touring].”
He continued: “My period in November was supposed to be getting together with Jim a lot. I live in San Diego, and he lives in Lakewood, California, which is a suburb of Los Angeles, so he’s about two hours away from me. And I was gonna be spending this last November going up to his place a couple of times a week and working on riffs and ideas and stuff. But thenDEATH [was touring with] Sean Reinert on drums, and he got sick, [and] he had to get sent home. So I got the phone call saying, ‘Hey, can you be out here essentially tomorrow?’ So, okay, there goes all my DARK ANGEL writing time, and working on the TESTAMENT record as well. So it’s been a little busy since I got home from that. Christmas, and then NAMMshow and then all that stuff.”
Hoglan added: “We’ve got some tunes written, and they’re kick-ass. I’m stoked. I’m stoked on the DARK ANGEL stuff. It’s gonna be awesome. We’re gonna try to destroy everybody, or at least destroy our other output and be the best band that we can.”
Regarding the direction of the new DARK ANGEL material, Hoglan said: “The one thing we are going to try to do is encapsulate as much of ourselves as possible. But just because we are an ’80s thrash band doesn’t mean that we can’t update to some degree. So the way I figure is we will update in certain degrees, and we won’t in others. Like, I don’t think you’re gonna see some heavily processed, gridded today’s production on it. I like it to be as organic and performance-captured situation as possible rather than just have it sound like some sterile… We don’t wanna do that. I’m not gonna Pro Tool the drums or have them gridded. And we’re not gonna loop guitar parts that… ‘Okay, you played that take great. Well, I’ll just cut it and paste it in the next part.’ We’re gonna play it all. And that’s one thing that we’re fortunate, that we are from that era, where it’s, like, ‘That’s what we did in the day. Let’s just do that again now.'”